The Nature of Evil Essay

The Nature of Evil Essay

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Evil is the violation of a moral code. Evil is the dualistic opposite of good. Evil causes harm. While scattered dictionaries may offer these clear-cut definitions, in reality a theme so prevalent in all spheres of life from the dawn of man takes on limitless forms. The word itself has come to symbolize the dividing line between regular people and callous monsters; demonic criminals who show no sign of compassion and no adherence to virtue. Ideas concerning evil have been strung along through the schools of theology, the minds of society, and the theories of philosophy throughout the history of mankind. The dichotomy between the opposing ideas of good and evil sets apart a gray area ignored by the black and white view of morality. In this gray area, reason, incentive, and relativism come into light. It is only when one investigates the meaning of evil from religious, social, and philosophical vantage points that they may truly discover the nature of evil.

In religion, the concepts of good and evil refer to a range of objects, desires, and behaviors which constitute morally positive and morally negative consequences on a spiritual level. Good is a broad concept typically comprised by associations with charity, happiness, love, and prosperity. Evil, on the other hand, can represent deliberate wrongdoing, actions designed to harm others, humiliation of people with the intent to diminish their needs and dignity, and acts of violence. Although each major religion varies in its distinctions of the two conceptions of morality, good and bad are cultural universals originating from Pre-Socratic philosophical notions. Morality in its absolute sense can be traced back to the dialogues of Plato. Book IV of Plato’s “Republic” ...


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...ed on their experiences.



Works Cited

Eagleton, Terry. "The Nature Of Evil." Tikkun 26.1 (2011): 80-94. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.
Formosa, Paul. "Kant On The Radical Evil Of Human Nature." Philosophical Forum 38.3 (2007): 221-245. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.
Thomas Aquinas, SUMMA THEOLOGICA, translated by the Fathers of the English Dominician Province (New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947) Volume 3, q. 72, a. 1, p. 902
Hans Schwarz, Evil: A Historical and Theological Perspective (Lima, Ohio: Academic Renewal Press, 2001): 42–43
Gaymon Bennett, Ted Peters, Martinez J. Hewlett, Robert John Russell (2008).
"The evolution of evil". Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. p.318.
Parry, Richard D. "Morality And Happiness: Book IV Of Plato's Republic." Journal Of Education 178.3 (1996): 31. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.

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